Hu Shaohua, Foreign Policies Toward Taiwan

Published date01 April 2019
Date01 April 2019
Subject MatterBook Reviews
98 Book Review
Overall, the book will likely disappoint maritime security and China specialists.
It does not offer any ground-breaking insight into the internal dynamics of the
Chinese state, nor does it adequately engage the security studies literature.
However, for those looking for a very readable and non-esoteric work that covers
the key issues of the SCS dispute, this book is recommended.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this book review are those of the author and do not
reflect the views of the National Defense College, or the United Arab Emirates government.
Jackobson, L. (2016). Domestic actors and the fragmentation of China’s foreign policy.
In R. S. Ross & J. I. Bekkevold (Eds.), China in the era of Xi Jinping (pp. 137–164).
Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
Reuters Staff. (2009, June 12). Chinese sub collides with array towed by U.S. ship: Report.
Reuters. Retrieved from
Christopher K. Colley
Assistant Professor, Security Studies
National Defense College of the United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Hu Shaohua, Foreign Policies Toward Taiwan. London and New York,
NY: Routledge, 2018, 161 pp., US$ 175 (hardbound). ISBN: 978-1-138-
DOI: 10.1177/2347797018823975
There is something unusual about Hu Shaohua’s book—for starters, the title
Foreign Policies Toward Taiwan has no subject. A natural question one may ask
is whose foreign policies towards Taiwan? A quick look at the book’s table of
contents will reveal the answer: the author seeks to examine more than a dozen
countries’ policies towards the island nation. The countries that the author chooses
to study vary in size and power (from the USA to Kiribati), and are spread out
across the globe. With such a comprehensive scope, it is no longer surprising the
book title has no subject. Had the author chosen one, it would have been ‘the
World’s foreign policies toward Taiwan’.
However, for such a broad topic, the book is a short one. Its main body is
divided into nine chapters across a mere 151 pages, including on average four to
five pages of endnotes following each chapter. Foreign Policies Toward Taiwan
has many bright spots. Overall, though, the imbalance between the book’s grand
scope and its sporadic and brief chapters hurts the depth of analysis.
Let me start with the strengths of the book. The author is absolutely right in
pointing out that the study of Taiwan’s relations with the world has been

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